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Texas and Sand Barrier Islands

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From the unattractive yet beautiful in their own way...the prickly seed pods explode!! Winter kill remnants of a wildflower on the barrier island, comes in Springtime----

---a timely and graceful lemony yellow blossom


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When you read portions of my blog and I mention that Bud and I drive to the island, mainly I'm referring to Padre Island. Now, on OUR section of the island we don't have the resort areas that SOUTH Padre Island has [our area is more residential and less commercial], but it's still a continuation of the very same island. SOUTH is nearly at the Old Mexico borders...near the city of Brownsville, Texas some 160+ miles from where I live in Corpus Christi. In fact, to us locals [and others]; we tend to differentiate our portion of the same island as NORTH Padre Island. But again, it's the same island as in Brownsville, Texas. The 'great sand dunes' barrier runs the coast from Brownsville, up to Galveston, Texas. Being the LARGEST sand barrier island in the WORLD!!! As you travel the island's paved highway, you will cross a man-made channel that will take you across to MUSTANG Island. This is where Port Aransas Texas is and the ship channel that the cargo and large oil tankers follow to make it to the port of Corpus Christi in Harbor Bay and the oil refineries, customs, etc. In the 1700s it was known as Isla de Santiago and granted to Nicolás Ballí in 1759 by King Carlos III of Spain. Padre Ballí [Nicolás Ballí's grandson] requested a clear title to the property in 1827. He was the first person to have the island surveyed and was the first settler who brought families to the island. Hence, the name Padre Island. The island barrier that extends the entire coast of Texas, began forming as a submerged sand bar some 4500 years ago. The entire island ---in Texas, it's considered a roadway. For most part, you can drive on the sand with autos...the National Seashore Park is only accessible with 4 wheel drive. Padre Island alone [from Brownsville Texas to Corpus Christi] by itself is the 2nd largest island in the U.S. ----this doesn't include from Mustang Island to the Louisiana border ---According to Environmental Texas, Texas has 367 miles of coastline with 624 miles of tidewater giving a total of 991 miles. Padre Island alone, is over 1/10th of that total [209 kilometers]. If you happen to view the map above I provided, you can see from the northernmost section, Corpus Christi...then, if you travel on the map south from the city to the Gulf of Mexico, you can see the black line separating the mainland to the island...the black line is JFK causeway and the island bridge. Which is the photo I took and shared here. The photo of the bridge was taken looking BACK to the city from Mustang Island. This is the only access traveling south by vehicle to the northern islands from Corpus Christi [you can go the round about way to the same area I'm standing from Corpus Christi to Portland Texas to Aransas Pass, cross the commercial ship channel over the ferry boats to Port Aransas.

The Oscars: I love watching this annual event as I love movies. I must admit I haven't seen many this past year. We did see Inception, Wolfman, and Alice in Wonderland [nominees for movie of the year, Makeup, and costume respectively]. I never did go see one I wanted to see, The King's Speech. But, I must admit, just seeing clips of this, "The King's Speech"...I know I do want to see it on DVD, and I was VERY pleased it was Picture of the Year. The women that attend the gala is of most interest tho...the dresses. Some were downright ugly, and of course some are just knock-out stunning.

My vote for best dressed, was the elegant, and very feminine gown that Mila Kunis chose to wear [pictured here].


  1. Thanks for the info on the island. I must admit to not knowing much about it before I read this post, so it was good to read.
    I never saw The Kings Speech either, but really want to and am glad it won.

  2. This plant does make a beautiful transition. It's very lovely!!! You know, I didn't get to see "The King's Speech" either, but I hope to! Have a grand day! Cathy

  3. It takes a special eye to see the beauty in a hibernating prickly wildflower... and in some ways I find it even more precious than the glorious flower that it blooms into in spring. I've been on Padre Island, but many decades ago, when an aunt and her family lived there. I don't watch a lot of movies these days, and Hollywood movies rarely appeal to me, but I am interested to see the King's Speech.

  4. What a transition that bloom made!

  5. Anonymous2/28/2011

    I really like the explosion of color form what appears to be a lifeless plant.

  6. The flower is lovely! I guess seed-to-flower is similar to caterpillar-to-butterfly, because you can't tell from one what the other will look like!

  7. But, but, but...those seed pods were attractive enough for you to stop for a photo!


    The seekers of yellow, they say,
    Will have a most terrible day
    Should they not behold
    Cream, amber or gold
    To burnish life’s dull shades of grey.

    © 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

    Oasis in Yellow

  8. Very nice and you seem to have many blogs... Will take time to complete all of it :)

    I maintain a blog for writing as well. Check it here.... Chicken Soup for the Mental Souls

  9. From that seemingly 'dead' flower new life blossoms! Gorgeous yellow - so warm! Thanks for sharing your areas information. Your part of the country sounds like a fabulous place to visit --- right about now when there is even more snow coming!

  10. Well, howdy neighbor! We're up in the Hill Country north of San Antonio- not too far away from you! I like your thistle shot- I'm always so conflicted by them! They really are beautiful, but they're also such a nuisance!

  11. Lovely decoration for St Patricks day :) so nice to see yellow wild flowers appearing - alittle bit of sunshine in amongst the dirt.

  12. I so enjoyed reading about the island you often go to, such interesting history behind it. I didn't realize the island was so long but I can see from the map just how long it is! We have a place we call "the island" as well but ours is Manitoulin Island about a 2 hour drive from me:-)

    I didn't watch any of the Academy Awards, completely forgot they were even on! lol I was watching American Pickers marathon:-) Except for Toy Story 3, I haven't seen any of the movies that were up for an oscar. Definitely want to get Inception and the Kings Speech when it comes out on dvd. xoxo

  13. Gorgeous bloom, can't wait for spring.

    My Mellow Yellow

  14. thanks for all the info about Padre Island. My aunt and uncle used to winter there many years back. it looks like a lovely spot, but pretty populated when the snowbirds are there.
    I agree with your choice on Oscar dresses, I liked that one a lot too, but my fave was Kate Blanchett's. have a great day Anni!

  15. I think the prickly wildflowers are pretty. Great shots Anni!

  16. I tried to watch the Oscar last night but choose to read the book last night. Good to know the King's Speech won as the Best Picture award. This is the movie that I want to watch too or own one ^_^ Happy Monday
    Blue Monday

  17. Anni we'ver never been to TX except in the airport. Your area looks beautiful.

    We are looking forward to seeing the King's Speech.
    Hugs C

  18. Beautiful mellow yellow macros of the prickly pear bloom and its transition.

    My memories of the Island go back to when two 9-car ferries made the trip from Harbor Island to Port Aransas, which had a population of 500. If you made the trip "down south", there was virtually nothing along the highway after you left PA. A causeway with swing bridges crossed the Laguna Madre back over to the mainland. That's been a while ago.

  19. I love the photo of the yellow flower. Great job!

  20. Those weeds turn into pretty nice flowers!

    I didn't know Padre Island was that long. It's kind of sad that I've never been to Corpus Christi. I've certainly visited Galveston, Beaumont and Houston multiple times as I have good friends in those areas -and I've been to San Antonio several times
    ( I love that city ) - and I've made the tedious cross Texas trip about six times - once just a few years ago to bring my mom's car out for my youngest son to use through college. I have always wanted to see Austin since, when Californians relocate to Texas, that's one of the places they seem to pick!

  21. Are you ready for St. Patrick's Day or "what"!! That lovely, lemony yellow blossom is just around the corner. Mickie

  22. the yellow flower is like sunshine. :)

  23. With Macro shots even ugly things become beautiful ! I saw it especially with insects !
    Beautiful new blog dress !

  24. wow the flower lives and look how magically it was blossomed. I love it, I wonder what's the name of the flower, anyway here's mine anni My Daily Rumbles Thanks

  25. Love your photos! Love the fog too...it can be soooo eerie like. Ever see the two movie versions of the "Fog"...my fav is the newest one. I don't find either scary just something to think about with the oddness of the sea which you are close to...;}
    Love the info too!
    Plus the shamrocks! I'm decorating [shop] in Mardi Gras right now with the green staying on for the leprechauns...;}
    Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment on my blog

  26. Hi Annie Sweetie...
    Another beautiful share. I love seeing the island shares of your daily trips that you and Bud take. They are so beautiful I feel like I am right there walking the shores with you when you gather shells and sand dollars. So pretty...

    I am so tickled that you loved the gown that Mila Kunis wore as it was my favorite as well. I thought the color and design was exquisite. Oh we are so much alike.

    I can't wait for The King's Speech to come to DVD either, as I didn't see it at the movies either.

    I hope you are well sweet friend. You are always close to my heart. Many hugs and so much love, Sherry

  27. Hey,
    Enjoyed the post. I love the fact that I've actually been to most of the islands you described. You live in a nice place. Do you ever get to see whooping cranes? I'm always wishing I could see one fly past Houston on their way back north.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston (Melanie's my wife)

  28. I love to photograph dying flowers too, they are beautiful in my eyes.

  29. How lovely!
    Have a great week Anni.

  30. Lovely blossoms! I like that second shot where the yellow is just barely springing forth.
    I watched the Oscars for....the dresses! LOL


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